- Ahmedabad breaks 100-year record
Rajasthan/Nagpur: An oppressive heatwave tore through north India with the small town of Phalodi in Rajasthan sweltering at 51°Celsius on Thursday- the highest ever in the country since Alwar, also in the desert state, registered 50.6°Celsius in 1956.
The state reeled under record-breaking temperatures as another traditional hot spot, Churu, made history with 50.2°Celsius, which is a notch higher than its 1914 record of slightly less than 50.
In meteorological terms, where an increase in even decimal points is viewed very seriously, this increase was significant.
Bikaner broke its 102-year-old record of 49.4 degrees recorded on May 28, 1914. It was 49.5°Celsius on Thursday.
The fort city of Jaisalmer in the middle of the Thar sizzled at 49°Celsius, upstaging an eight-year-old record.
Tourist destination Jodhpur too broke its record with 48.8°Celsius. The previous highest was 47.4°Celsius on May 29, 1994. But capital city Jaipur was slightly better with 46.5°Celsius.
People in Rajasthan are used to high summer temperatures but this year has been unusually hot.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned that the heatwave will be at its severest in the next couple of days, raising the alert level to the highest “red”. This means the temperature will nudge 47°Celsius in several cities, including New Delhi.
MAY 19th: The highest max temp recorded was 51°C at Phalodi (west #Rajasthan, which is the highest temperature ever recorded in India
— IMD WEATHER PRODIGY (@IMD_Weather) May 20, 2016
Ahmedabad in Gujarat shattered a century-old record as the maximum temperature touched 48°Celsius. “Data say the city recorded 47.8°Celsius on May 27, 1916,” official told media.
New Delhi too felt the pinch, recording 43°Celsius with a harsh, hot and dry wind blowing through the day.
The IMD asked people to take precautions against the heatwave while doctors advised against outdoor activities between 11am and 4pm to avoid sunstrokes.
There are reports of people collapsing in the heat and of armed men guarding wells and ponds in Madhya Pradesh to stop farmers from stealing water.
There is no official statistics of aggregated heat-related deaths, but searing temperatures coupled with a drought is said to have killed hundreds this year, and left not enough food to eat or water to drink in parts of an area that holds about 25% of India’s 1.2 billion people.
The Bikaner district authorities in Rajasthan ordered sprinkling of water in select public places while a train carrying 2.5 million litres of water was off to parched Bhilwara.